The 6 Best and Worst Companion Dogs for Rottweilers


Rottweiler hanging out with other dogs in costume on beach

So, you’re on the hunt for a canine companion for your Rottweiler. Great!

Rottweilers can benefit hugely from having a fellow dog to play and interact with.

While any two dogs can get along, not all will. So, what are the best and worst companion dogs for your Rottweiler?

Some great companion dogs for Rottweilers include another Rottweiler, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Gordon Setters, and Bloodhounds. Bad dog companions for Rottweilers include Chihuahuas, Akitas, Border Collies, Pugs, Cani Corsi, and Great Pyrenees.

In this article, you can read a bit about several different dog breeds and how they are great or not-so-great companion options for your Rottweiler.

We will also provide you with a bit of information about how to encourage any two dogs to get along with each other.

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Personality Vs. Breed Characteristics

There are temperament traits that form part of a breed’s typical characteristics.

These are what the following listings of good and bad dog companions for Rottweilers have been based on.

However, all the breed characteristics are not guaranteed to be exhibited by your dog.

Furthermore, there is the influence of personality, which will also have to be factored into your final decision.

Do Rottweilers Get Along With Small Dogs?

The compatibility of Rottweilers with small dogs is not really a matter of personality, although that can play a role in some cases.

It is the size differences that make small dogs poor companions for Rottweilers.

A Rottweiler who weighs, on average, 100 pounds is not going to be able to play safely with a dog who weighs 10 pounds.

Furthermore, their exercise requirements and capabilities will be different.

Ultimately, you can have a Rottweiler and a small dog, but they will be more like roommates than companions.

We have included two small breed dogs on the list of bad companions. These two breeds are mentioned specifically because it is more than their size that makes them less than ideal companions for Rottweilers.

The 6 Best Companion Dogs for Rottweilers

1. Rottweilers Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

two Rottweilers

If you’ve already got one lovely Rottweiler, then why not get a second one?

Rottweilers are very human-orientated dogs, and so when you go out, they can become upset, and some even develop separation anxiety.

If you have two Rottweilers together, they can gravitate towards and derive comfort from each other for comfort while you are out of the house.

Another reason why a Rottweiler makes a good companion for your Rottweiler is that they are matched in size, energy levels, exercise requirements, etc., allowing for age, gender, and individual variations, of course.

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Rottweiler?

Rottweilers have a certain set of breed characteristics.

In some cases, this is good because it means that they are matched. In other cases, such as protectiveness, it can be a problem because both will want to be in charge.

If they decide to fight, then you will have to be able to manage and control two giant-breed, heavily-muscled dogs.

If you are looking for a bit more information on having two Rottweilers, be sure to read this excellent guide on getting two Rottweilers at once.

Do Male and Female Rottweilers Get Along?

When looking at getting two Rottweilers, there is always the question of whether to get two females, two males, or one of each gender.

In general, male and female dogs actually tend to get along better than two dogs of the same gender. This is particularly true for unsterilized dogs.

Two male or two female Rottweilers will be in competition with each other as per their natural instincts.

As Rottweilers are territorial, this competition can become a problem, and you can end up with frequent spats or even proper fights.

A male and a female Rottweiler will not be in such direct competition. However, if you have a male and a female Rottweiler, at least one of them should be sterilized.

2. Labradors Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

Labrador and Rottweiler playing chess

Labradors are known to be gentle, loving, easy-going, and friendly.

As such, they make good companions for almost any other type of dog, and Rottweilers are no exception.

Labradors are smaller than Rottweilers (although they are not small dogs), but they have oodles of energy, which means that they can still make good playmates for the larger but less energetic Rottweiler.

Labradors are not very territorial, but they are not timid either, which means they are less likely to try competing with a Rottweiler, but they are also not likely to be bullied. 

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Labrador?

While Labradors are not territorial like Rottweilers, they are human-orientated, which means that competition can come in for your affection.

However, because Labradors are less forceful than Rottweilers, you will have to make sure that your Rottweiler does not try to keep your Labrador away from you.

Your Labrador’s high energy levels can become too much for your Rottweiler to deal with, and they can snap when they get overwhelmed.

3.     Golden Retrievers Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

Golden Retriever and Rottweiler

Golden Retrievers are another dog breed that is easy-going, loving, and friendly.

Just like Labradors, they are smaller than Rottweilers, but their energy level makes them appropriate playmates.

They also are not so small or delicate that if play gets a bit wild, they would be in danger of serious injury.

Golden Retrievers are not going to be picking any fights with your Rottweiler, and so your Rottweiler is unlikely to pick fights with them.

Ultimately, a Golden Retriever as a companion is likely to bring out the best in your Rottweiler.

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Golden Retriever?

The same issues that exist for a Rottweiler and a Labrador are also potential problems for Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers.

In other words, they may compete for your affection, and the Rottweiler can dominate your time and attention.

Your Golden Retriever’s high energy levels can overwhelm your Rottweiler and lead to irritable behavior by your Rottweiler.

4. Great Danes Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

Great Danes are another giant dog breed. Although they are not as bulky as Rottweilers, they are still large and strong and capable of engaging in play with a Rottweiler without fear of injury.

Great Danes and Rottweilers are also well-matched when it comes to energy levels, so you will not have one bouncing all over the other, causing trouble.

Great Danes are sweet-natured but protective, like Rottweilers, but they are less territorial.

This means that they will help your Rottweiler to guard the family, but they less likely to just fight over space or toys.

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Great Dane?

Both Rottweilers and Great Danes are big personality dogs. If their temperaments are not carefully matched, you can end up with some strong disagreements.

As they are both protective of their families, this does introduce the possibility of competition for affection, which needs to be closely managed.

5. Gordon Setters Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setters are lovable and confident dogs, which makes them wonderful companions for a Rottweiler.

They are sturdy and strong gundogs, so even though they are not the same size as a Rottweiler, there will not easily get accidentally hurt. Furthermore, they are nimble and quick, which they can use during playtimes to offset the sheer bulk of the Rottweiler.

They are not at all territorial, so they will not be competing with your Rottweiler over property and space.

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Gordon Setter?

Gordon Setters are very high-energy dogs, so they can overwhelm your Rottweiler after a while. However, if you just make sure to redirect your Gordon Setter’s energy when it reaches this point, then there should be no issue.

Gordon Setters, like most gundogs, are very attached to their people, so some mutual jealously can arise between them and the equally human-orientated Rottweiler.

6. Bloodhounds Are Good Companions for Rottweilers

Bloodhounds are a breed of dogs that you really have to love in order to live with them.

They smell, they drool, and they bey (howl). But if you’ve fallen in love with the breed, then none of those things matter to you.

Bloodhounds make great playmates for Rottweilers because they are lively but not too overwhelmingly energetic and big enough to play wildly with a Rottweiler without getting injured.

They are also pack animals, so a bloodhound will gravitate towards your Rottweiler and actively try to be friendly.

Bloodhounds are not really territorial, and they will probably be more attached to your Rottweiler than to you, so vying for your affection is less likely to be a problem.

What Problems Could There Be With a Rottweiler and a Bloodhound?

If their personalities are not compatible, then these two breeds of dogs can easily be at odds with each other. Rottweilers do things a particular way, and Bloodhounds are extremely stubborn. 

The 6 Worst Companion Dogs for Rottweilers

1. Chihuahuas Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

The most obvious issue with chihuahuas and Rottweilers is the size difference. Chihuahuas only grow to a height of 5-8 inches and weigh less than 6 pounds.

They might be posing nicely for the picture above, but trust us, this is not a good combination!

There is no safe way that chihuahuas and Rottweilers can play together, even if they wanted to. A Rottweiler could just so easily hurt the Chihuahua.

Another issue with Chihuahuas is that they have a tendency to be cheeky, or just a little too forward.

Rottweilers are not aggressive dogs, but they also do not suffer fools gladly, and a Chihuahua picking a fight with a Rottweiler is certainly foolish.

On the other hand, being stood on once or twice by a massive Rottweiler can make the Chihuahua leery of the Rottweiler’s company.

This means that they might be able to live together, but they are not likely to be companions for each other.

Could Rottweilers and Chihuahuas Ever Live Together?

Technically, any two dogs could live together, but this is a pairing that really does not make sense and would not really be beneficial to either dog.

Related: Can A Rottweiler And A Chihuahua Mate?

2. Akitas Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

Akita

Akitas are a great size match for Rottweilers, but they are known for being intolerant of other dogs. In fact, they are not good with any other animals or strangers.

Both Rottweilers and Akitas are protective dogs, but in this case, this similarity is more like to be problematic as they both try to protect the same people and properties, but without getting along too well.

The last thing you want is to have your two massive dogs fighting all the time.

Even if you are a strong and confident owner, this can become tiring and can breed anxiety in the home, which just worsens matters.

Could Rottweilers and Akitas Ever Live Together?

Yes, Rottweilers and Akitas could live together. However, both would have to be very well socialized and trained, and their owner must be fully in charge, the undeniable alpha of the pack.

3. Border Collies Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

When you think of dogs that have fighty temperaments, Border Collies are probably not the breed that comes to mind.

However, they are extremely high energy, prone to neuroticism, and capable of being incredibly bossy.

If you think about it, they are bred to boss sheep around all day, so it does make sense.

However, a high-energy, neurotic, and bossy dog is not a good match for your mid-energy Rottweiler, who can easily become anxious, and who is a natural guardian and alpha.

Border Collies and Rottweiler are also both likely to be strongly attached to their owners and become possessive of them.

Could Rottweilers and Border Collies Ever Live Together?

Yes, these two dogs can live together. It is probably better if they each have their own special person, so there is less competition for human attention.

It is also advisable to never let these two working dogs get bored or try to keep them locked up in a small space together.

4. Pugs Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

Rottweiler and Pug

Once again, it’s the size difference that makes Pugs bad companions for Rottweilers.

There will always be a high risk of injury if these two dogs try to play with each other.

It is particularly a problem with pugs because they often have eye trouble, and it is not uncommon for a Pug’s eyeball to be knocked out in situations such as rougher play.

Furthermore, Pugs are not going to be able to keep up with your Rottweiler when exercising. Their legs are smaller, but they also have breathing issues because of their flat faces.

This means that you might have to exercise your Pug and Rottweiler separately, which is not the most convenient or companionable option.

Could Rottweilers and Pugs Ever Live Together?

You can have a Pug companion for your Rottweiler.

Their breed temperaments are not necessarily going to clash, but you will have to watch them whenever they are together to make sure your Pug is not injured accidentally.

5. Cani Corsi Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

Cane Corso

Cani Corsi is the plural name of Cane Corso. These dogs are big, territorial, strong-willed, and often do not get along well with other dogs.

As you can imagine, this combination of characteristics will not make the greatest companion dog for a Rottweiler, who is also big, territorial, and strong-willed.

Both will vie for dominance, and it can lead to some big problems because they are both massive dogs.

Could Rottweilers and Cani Corsi Ever Live Together?

These two breeds could live together as companions, but only if they are both extremely well socialized from a young age, and you carefully match their temperaments and personalities.

You would also probably do better to get different genders and have both dogs sterilized.  

6. Great Pyrenees Are Bad Companions for Rottweilers

The reason why the Great Pyrenees has made it onto the list of bad companions for Rottweilers is because we are considering what dogs make good companions.

A Great Pyrenees and a Rottweiler can get along, but the Great Pyrenees is much too independent to be a good friend. This independence is borne from its history as a herd guardian who stayed out in the fields, alone with the herds.  

If given the space, the Great Pyrenees will wander away from home on their own for most of the time, leaving your Rottweiler without company anyway.

Could Rottweilers and Great Pyrenees Ever Live Together?

The Great Pyrenees are a giant breed of dog, very well-matched for a Rottweiler in terms of size. If their personalities are a good fit, too, then these two breeds of dogs could get along just fine.

How to Encourage Any Two Dogs to Get Along Together

As we have mentioned several times in this article, any two dogs could live together, but some pairings are more challenging to facilitate.

If you have two dogs that are not an ideal match, you can still encourage a harmonious cohabitation. Let’s look at the factors you can control to a certain extent.

Correct Puppy Choice

If you are getting from a breeder, then make sure that the breeder is reputable to minimize the chance of the puppies having any genetic temperament or physical conditions.

If you are getting your dogs from rescue shelters, then get as full a history as possible and speak to the rescue center workers or an animal behaviorist about each dog’s temperament.

Match the two dogs’ temperaments. A breeder or animal behaviorist can assist you with this task.

Getting two puppies simultaneously helps them to bond before hormones get involved, especially if you are getting two puppies of the same gender.

However, if you are getting two more “aggressive” breeds, then it might just be better to get one male and one female.

Socialization

It is absolutely vital that you socialize puppies. Without this, they are more prone to behavioral issues, and they also lack doggy manners, which are crucial to harmonious living.

You also do not want either your Rottweiler or your other dog to respond negatively to non-canine stimuli.

For example, if one or both of your dogs are terrified of cars, then they are more likely to lash out in a high-stress situation involving cars than dogs who have been exposed to the noise and movements associated with cars.

Training

Training your dogs to obey you is key.

If they understand what is allowed and what is not, as well as commands like no, sit, stay, and go outside, then it makes diffusing any tense situations so much easier.

Physical Stimulation

A dog who has pent-up energy is more likely to be agitated and irritable. Moreover, they also are more likely to niggle at or annoy their fellow dog.

This is just asking for trouble with some dog pairs.

So, exercising your dogs becomes about more than keeping them fit; it’s also about keeping them calm and agreeable.

Mental Stimulation

A bored dog is just as restless as an under-exercised dog. Training is a great way to engage your dog’s mind and body.

Additionally, you can play puzzle games, go for walks along new routes, or somewhere where the smells and sights are all new and exciting.

Good Ownership

You are an important factor in the equation of how well your Rottweiler will get along with your other dog.

Owners Have to Be the Alphas

First and foremost, you always have to be the alpha. Even if you have two of the most laid-back dogs, they still have to know that you have the final say.

Owners Have to Have the Right Personality for Dealing With the Dogs Together

If you have to more protective and dominant dogs, then you have to be able to control them and also intervene if things go wrong.

You need to be calm and confident in any situation.

Remember, if you are always worried about your Rottweiler and your Pit Bull fighting or your Rottweiler hurting your Yorkshire Terrier, then you will be giving off stress signals to your dogs.

This simply aggravates the situation and can spark something that could have been contained.

Owners Have to Ensure That There Is No Competition

You also need to ensure that no competition exists if you have a Rottweiler with another territorial dog like a German Shepherd.

High-value objects should never be left on the floor. The dogs should each have their own space and be taught to respect the spaces.

Additionally, they should eat in different spots from each other but in the same spot every mealtime so that they feel more reassured about getting their food.

You also have to provide for both dogs’ emotional needs without treating them as the same dog or make one feel excluded.

Final Thoughts

There are definitely good companions for Rottweilers and bad companions for Rottweilers.

There are even indifferent companions, those that will not fight with your Rottweiler, but they also won’t be a comfort or a friend to them.

Dogs that get along best with Rottweiler are more likely to be large or giant breeds of dogs with laid-back temperaments.

Dogs that are unlikely to be good companions for Rottweilers include most small breeds and more high-energy fighty dog breeds.

Whatever canine companion you choose for your Rottweiler, there is plenty that you can do to facilitate a harmonious living environment and a happy bond between the two.

Hunter Reed

I've owned and trained German Shepherds and a variety of other large and medium breed dogs for over 20 years now - Labradors, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bull Terriers - just to name a few. Myself, along with my team of highly experienced canine professionals, strive to bring you the best and most useful information to help you raise your dog the right way. Read my story here.

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